no respect for high jumpers


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no respect for high jumpers

Postby gh » Tue Feb 18, 2014 9:37 pm

from a friend at the Russian Championships


<<If I ever needed convincing that it is track events which keep
spectators in their seats, it was yesterday. With Danill Tsyplakov
surprising and getting the second Sopot position in the men's high jump
(and with Ukhov already the winner on a countback), 'Vanya' cleared 2.38
and was preparing for jumps at 2.44. Meanwhile, the final track event
(a rather lame men's 200m final) had finished and people were heading
for the exits in droves while the high jump officials were putting their
finishing touches on the bar measurements.

It's true that neither of Ukhov's attempt were even close, but I wonder
how he handled (if he even noticed) the tacit insult that his home crowd
was paying to his attempts.>>
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Re: no respect for high jumpers

Postby Dietmar239 » Wed Feb 19, 2014 5:53 am

Same ole song, gh. Although this time, the event itself may be to blame. IAAF reports that there were 37 jumpers in the final. Ukhov said he could have gone to sleep at some points while waiting for his opening height of 2.30m. No doubt, the high jump should have ended earlier. On the other hand, who walks out on WR attempts? Idiodicy on both sides.
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Re: no respect for high jumpers

Postby Marlow » Wed Feb 19, 2014 6:11 am

These are the same people who start leaving a pro football game (in droves) mid-way through the fourth quarter, even with the outcome in doubt (!), in order to avoid traffic. Why the EFFdid you go in the first place??!!
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Re: no respect for high jumpers

Postby houstonian » Wed Feb 19, 2014 7:32 am

Do you really think they would have stayed to watch the conclusion of the triple jump , or shot? It is not the high jump! That IS track and field, dead on the vine. Track is every bit as dead in Russia as it is in the USA. Make no mistake about it: worldwide track without American and Russian interest is like the NBA without a successful franchise in New York City. Only the interest of Great Britain and western Europe keeps our dwindling sport on life support.

The IAAF formatting, dead spots between events, the four minute intros, the gaps in the action for the international television feed, and the lack of appropriate announcing prior to crucial moments of action, all make watching the meet a gut-wrenching siege for spectators.

Only could the iaaf, olympic committee and various governing bodies of our sport take the amazing explosiveness of our beloved athletics, and make it tedious, sterile, and without personality.
We, as in the worldwide athletics community, have only ourselves to blame.

The viewing public would rather watch half-pipe than watch what we do. Damn that is humiliating to me (a track devotee for life)!
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Re: no respect for high jumpers

Postby Sasuke » Wed Feb 19, 2014 8:05 am

In fact, Diamond League's meeting are as boring as hell... saying that some field events are heavily mistreated is a light definition on what they do.

However, as far as high jump... a big shame is the fact only two jumpers can compete in Sopot. Unfortunately, Dmitrik "only" cleared 2.32 which was good only for fourth. In spite of his 2.40 he probably won't be in Sopot... a huge loss for the competition itself.
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Re: no respect for high jumpers

Postby gh » Wed Feb 19, 2014 8:08 am

houstonian wrote:….
The IAAF formatting, dead spots between events, the four minute intros….!


You're way off the mark there; intros at OG/WC/USATF/NCAA don't take more than 2 minutes (and I know, because I live with those restrictions), and when in a single-language situation drop down to 6-7 seconds per athlete, so a lane race can take less than a minute.

And I'm suspecting that even the 2-minute figure is no worse than it takes your typical bombastic NBA announcer to do 10 players, or to run through a long football lineup.

How do you expect people to enjoy the sport if they don't have an idea who they're seeing and what their credentials are?
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Re: no respect for high jumpers

Postby BillVol » Wed Feb 19, 2014 8:12 am

I love track intros. One of the things that made me a fan was hearing Dr. Buck Jones' intros at Tennessee.
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Re: no respect for high jumpers

Postby Marlow » Wed Feb 19, 2014 9:23 am

houstonian wrote:Do you really think they would have stayed to watch the conclusion of the triple jump , or shot? It is not the high jump! That IS track and field, dead on the vine.

Didn't these people PAY to come see a track meet?! It's not as if we herded them off the street and forced them to sit there for at least an hour! Track and field is NOT dead on the vine to anyone who would pay good money and then transport themselves to a meet. If we are killing off the few who DO come, then yes, it is our obligation to make the presentation 'sweeter', but I reject any premise that holds that T&F is not viable. It most certainly is.
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Re: no respect for high jumpers

Postby TN1965 » Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:03 am

Marlow wrote:
houstonian wrote:Do you really think they would have stayed to watch the conclusion of the triple jump , or shot? It is not the high jump! That IS track and field, dead on the vine.

Didn't these people PAY to come see a track meet?! It's not as if we herded them off the street and forced them to sit there for at least an hour! Track and field is NOT dead on the vine to anyone who would pay good money and then transport themselves to a meet. If we are killing off the few who DO come, then yes, it is our obligation to make the presentation 'sweeter', but I reject any premise that holds that T&F is not viable. It most certainly is.


Well, I PAY to come see a music concert. But I usually get bored during the "opening" act. I am sitting in my seat, basically waiting for the opening act to finish so that I can see the headliner.

Suppose the order is reversed, then I will probably leave my seat after the headliner is done. For some people, that's what Track & Field meet is like. The difference is that different groups of spectators come to see different events.

At the US Nationals last year, many people did not stay for the evening session to see men's & women's 10K. And I thought... "how could any one choose to skip Galen and Shalane? :roll:" But they'd rather watch heats of sprint races than the 10K final.
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Re: no respect for high jumpers

Postby houstonian » Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:10 am

gh wrote:
You're way off the mark there; intros at OG/WC/USATF/NCAA don't take more than 2 minutes (and I know, because I live with those restrictions), and when in a single-language situation drop down to 6-7 seconds per athlete, so a lane race can take less than a minute.

And I'm suspecting that even the 2-minute figure is no worse than it takes your typical bombastic NBA announcer to do 10 players, or to run through a long football lineup.

How do you expect people to enjoy the sport if they don't have an idea who they're seeing and what their credentials are?


I am not far off the mark at all. Did you see the crowds in Daegu and Moscow, how they stayed away, how paying customers left early? How they give seats away to elementary schools to make the crowds seem respectable?
I love track probably more than you. I am the most ardent of devotees for athletics. I sit through every rep at Olympic and world decathlons.
I see what happens though. I talk to folks. I watch the exodus. Paying spectators leave track meets. Track meets are too long and arduous to watch, except for die-hards like me.
Russians hate track.
Americans hate track.
Americans love poker. They love extreme sports -- all of which are more popular than track -- and I say that with shame.
Try to see what is right about what I observe, rather than taking issue with a 2 versus 4 minute intro. Watch the people LEAVE, just as I do!
We can be in denial or we can fight and recover, as NASCAR did, as the NBA did.
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Re: no respect for high jumpers

Postby gh » Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:51 am

I agree with most of what you say, but I called you out on a bad fact, and using bad facts to bolster your argument doesn't help it.
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Re: no respect for high jumpers

Postby Marlow » Wed Feb 19, 2014 12:08 pm

TN1965 wrote:At the US Nationals last year, many people did not stay for the evening session to see men's & women's 10K. And I thought... "how could any one choose to skip Galen and Shalane? :roll:" But they'd rather watch heats of sprint races than the 10K final.

As one who will take a break from spectating when the distance races go (I stay for the first 2 laps in case they actually RUN), I totally agree that walking out when 'your events' are done is logical. I was taking issue with the fact that 'track is dead'.
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Re: no respect for high jumpers

Postby norunner » Wed Feb 19, 2014 12:10 pm

Dietmar239 wrote:Same ole song, gh. Although this time, the event itself may be to blame. IAAF reports that there were 37 jumpers in the final. Ukhov said he could have gone to sleep at some points while waiting for his opening height of 2.30m. No doubt, the high jump should have ended earlier. On the other hand, who walks out on WR attempts? Idiodicy on both sides.
I wouldn't trust that report at all, according to tilastopaja there were 15 in the final, there was a qualification the day before, so doing quali and letting 37 enter the final seems unlikely. Ukhov's opening height was 2.15, not 2.30 (2.15/1 2.24/1 2.30/2 2.34/1 2.38/1 2.44/XX) <- also from tilastopaja.
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Re: no respect for high jumpers

Postby Dave » Wed Feb 19, 2014 1:03 pm

Didn't the announcer mention that these guys were trying for the Russian record? That seems like it would have kept more people in their seats.

When i go to a meet like Pre, the announcer would always mention something of this significance.....
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Re: no respect for high jumpers

Postby Per Andersen » Thu Feb 20, 2014 12:34 am

Dave wrote:Didn't the announcer mention that these guys were trying for the Russian record? That seems like it would have kept more people in their seats.

When i go to a meet like Pre, the announcer would always mention something of this significance.....

Sad state of affairs but it was only Ukhov going for the record (indoor WR) Tsyplakov went out on 2.36. Terrific comp even if Dmitrik got "real" after going 2.40 the other week.
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